14 November 2006

The Big Losers

I can’t figure out which is worse...

To believe in the Genius of Rove.

Finally, after the "thumpin' " Republicans took,
Rove's tactics have come under closer press
scrutiny, particularly his late campaign predictions
that proved to be embarrassingly naïve. But even
there, the coverage has been artificially restrained
with the starting point for many of the media
post-mortems being, how could a strategist as
brilliant as Karl Rove misread the looming election

The press also continues to look away from Rove's
string of colossal miscues that led to the Republican
losses. For instance, Republicans themselves are
furious that Bush waited until the day after the
elections to fire beleaguered Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld. "I think the timing was exactly
backwards," complained Newt Gingrich, who said
Bush's clumsy maneuver likely cost Republican
candidates between 10 and 15 seats in the House.
For now Bush is getting the blame. But does
anybody really think that Rove did not play a
significant role in the misguided decision to keep
Rummy on through the elections? After all, it was
Rove who insisted all year that Iraq could be a
winning issue for Republicans and that candidates
would get credit for sticking close to the president.
That turned out to be a costly blunder, and so did
Bush's refusal to can Rumsfeld.

Or to believe in nothing.

They have no passion about anything. And they
thus assume that everyone else suffers from the
same emptiness of character and ossified cynicism
that plague them. And all of their punditry and
analysis and political strategizing flows from this
corrupt root.

Not only do they believe in nothing, they think
that a belief in nothing is a mark of sophistication
and wisdom. Those who believe in things too
much -- who display intense political passion or
who take their convictions and ideals seriously
(i.e., Feingold, Howard Dean) -- either are naive
or, worse, are crazy, irrational, loudmouthed
masses and radicals who disrupt the elevated,
measured world of the high-level, dispassionate
Beltway sophisticates (i.e., Joe Klein, David
Broder). They are interested in, even obsessed
with, every aspect of the political process except
for deeply held political beliefs, which is the only
part that actually matters or has any real worth.